Stephen C. Meyer Quotes
“The information contained in an English sentence or computer software does not derive from the chemistry of the ink or the physics of magnetism, but from a source extrinsic to physics and chemistry altogether. Indeed, in both cases, the message transcends the properties of the medium. The information in DNA also transcends the properties of its material medium.”
“With odds standing at 1 chance in 10164 of finding a functional protein among the possible 150-amino-acid compounds, the probability is 84 orders of magnitude (or powers of ten) smaller than the probability of finding the marked particle in the whole universe. Another way to say that is the probability of finding a functional protein by chance alone is a trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion times smaller than the odds of finding a single specified particle among all the particles in the universe.”
“Since natural selection “selects” or preserves functionally advantageous mutations or variations, it can explain the origin of systems that could have arisen through a series of incremental steps, each of which maintains or confers a functional advantage on a living organism. Nevertheless, by this same logic, selection and mutation face difficulty in explaining structures or systems that could not have been built through a close series of functional intermediates. Moreover, since selection operates only on what mutation first produces, mutation and selection do not readily explain appearances of design that require discrete jumps of complexity that exceed the reach of chance; that is to say, the available probabilistic resources.”
“Biochemist David Goodsell describes the problem, “The key molecular process that makes modern life possible is protein synthesis, since proteins are used in nearly every aspect of living. The synthesis of proteins requires a tightly integrated sequence of reactions, most of which are themselves performed by proteins.”41 Or as Jacques Monod noted in 1971: “The code is meaningless unless translated. The modern cell’s translating machinery consists of at least fifty macromolecular components which are themselves coded in DNA: the code cannot be translated otherwise than by products of”
“In particular, the three-dimensional shape of a protein gives it a hand-in-glove fit with other equally specified and complex molecules or with simpler substrates, enabling it to catalyze specific chemical reactions or to build specific structures within the cell. Because of its three-dimensional specificity, one protein cannot usually substitute for another.”
“The software engineer had been studying how the cell processes information in order to write a computer simulation of gene expression. He showed me a book called Design Patterns, a standard text for software engineers. The text was full of different design strategies - strategies foe processing, storing, copying, organizing, accessing, and correcting digitally encoded strings of information. My colleague told me that he recognized many of these specific design patterns and strategies at work in the cell. He expressed his awe at the "sophistication of its design logic" and its resemblance to that used in the software industry. He said the cell often employs a functional logic that mirrors our own, but exceeds it in the elegance of its execution. It's like we are looking at 8.0 or 9.0 versions of design strategies that we have just begun to implement. When I see how the cell processes information, it gives me an eerie feeling that someone else figured this out before we got here.”
“Agassiz explained his reasons for doubting the creative power of natural selection. Small-scale variations, he argued, had never produced a “specific difference” (i.e., a difference in species). Meanwhile, large-scale variations, whether achieved gradually or suddenly, inevitably resulted in sterility or death. As he put it, “It is a matter of fact that extreme variations finally degenerate or become sterile; like monstrosities they die out.”
“If Darwin is right, Agassiz argued, then we should find not just one or a few missing links, but innumerable links shading almost imperceptibly from alleged ancestors to presumed descendants. Geologists, however, had found no such myriad of transitional forms leading to the Cambrian fauna. Instead, the stratigraphic column seemed to document the abrupt appearance of the earliest animals. Agassiz”
“That Man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms; that no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling, can preserve an individual life beyond the grave; that all the labours of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and that the whole temple of Man’s achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins—all these things, if not quite beyond dispute, are yet so nearly certain, that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand.25”
“Although DNA does not convey information that is received, understood, or used by a conscious mind, it does have information that is received and used by the cell’s machinery to build the structures critical to the maintenance of life. DNA displays a property—functional specificity—that transcends the merely mathematical formalism of Shannon’s theory. Is”
“As science advanced in the late nineteenth century, it increasingly excluded appeals to divine action or divine ideas as a way of explaining phenomena in the natural world. This practice came to be codified in a principle known as methodological naturalism. According to this principle, scientists should accept as a working assumption that all features of the natural world can be explained by material causes without recourse to purposive intelligence, mind, or conscious agency. Proponents”
Stephen C. Meyer
- Born: The United States.
- Description: There is more than one author with this name in the database.
Dr. Stephen C. Meyer received his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge in the philosophy of science. A former geophysicist and college professor, he now directs the Center for Science and Culture at the Discovery Institute in Seattle. In 2004, Meyer ignited a firestorm of media and scientific controversy when a biology journal at the Smithsonian Institution published his peer-reviewed scientific article advancing intelligent design. Meyer has been featured on national television and radio programs, including The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, CBS’s Sunday Morning, NBC’s Nightly News, ABC’s World News, Good Morning America, Nightline, FOX News Live, and the Tavis Smiley Show on PBS. He has also been featured in two New York Times front-page stories and has garnered attention in other top-national media.